Halfway between the main tourist hotspot of Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, and the major town of Tenejapa, a traditional cemetery in a small Maya community stands out by the giant, colorful wooden crosses that crown its hilltop location.
The crosses of Romerillo Cemetery are of the typical Chiapas Maya style, characterized by the use of turquoise, teal, and blue colors, as well as their round ends. Attached to the crosses are branches of pine that are left to wilt and then replaced, as part of the local beliefs.
The cemetery is on a hill, open to the public, and consists of shallow raised tombs and wooden markers. Even outside the dates of the traditional Day of the Dead holiday, the tombs are adorned with marigolds. Locals wander the hill and pay visits to friends and relatives buried there along with shepherds and their livestock that graze in the cemetery.
Know Before You Go
While the cemetery is not fenced off and easily accessible, it is recommended to be respectful of the locals and the tombs, as the Maya people of this region are noted for responding to offense.